Day 1: Fethiye Harbour - Gemiler Island
Everyone arrived by 2PM and we were quickly on our way out of Fethiye Harbour. The weather was a bit windy, so conditions were a bit rough at times, but the 3 hour trip to Gemiler was relatively unevenful as everyone got to know each other.
We anchored amidst the pirate boats at Gemiler Island and everyone enjoyed their first swim of the cruise.
Rest and relaxation were the order of the day as the daily boats vacated the area and temperatures started to drop. The group elected to explore the historic island, returning to the boat just before sunset. Forunately, Captain Oktay had turned on the air conditioners so we could shower and change from our sweaty hiking gear before dinner.
Chef Ozan prepared a table full of mezes and Captain Oktay cooked sea bream on the barbeque for our first night's dinner.
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Day 2: Gemiler Island - Firnaz Bay near Kalkan - Bayındır Bay near Kaş
The crew awoke at 5AM and the boat was underway shortly thereafter for the long, open water crossing to Kalkan. The first stretch was quite rough, but seas calmed for the second half of the journey. Breakfast was served as we dropped anchor in Firnoz Bay near Kalkan.
Everyone enjoyed some time in the gorgeous turquoise water while the crew cleaned up after breakfast, and then we were on our way again, heading east towards Kaş.
This leg of the cruise was only about 2 hours long, and we soon anchored in Bayındır Bay across from the upscale resort town of Kaş. After lunch and swim time, a water taxi collected us and took us into town for sightseeing, shopping, and ice cream.
The return water taxi ride was "a bit" rougher than the the first journey, and waves bobbed us up and down as we made our way back to the boat.
Pre-dinner drinks were awaiting us when we returned to Arkadaslik, followed by a fabulous dinner of Adana kebabs and all the fixings. Music from the festival being held in Kaş could be heard across the water, but it was a generally peaceful evening filled with laughter and good conversation.
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Day 3: Bayindır Bay - Furunoz Bay - Ottoman Bay in the Gökkaya Region
We enjoyed a relaxed start to the day day - coffee, swimming, watching a small boat wrestle with its anchor, and eating breakfast - before picking up our own anchor and continuing our eastward journey.
Captain Oktay steered the boat towards the south side of Kekova Island, mooring in a picturesque anchorage called Furunoz Bay. Poor Chef Ozan was distraught because there was no wifi access, but everyone else happily coped with a brief disconnect from the outside world. Swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking were popular here.
Late in the afternoon, we lifted anchor and made our way to the Gökkaya region, mooring in a small cove we've nicknamed "Ottoman Bay". The area was busy, and a small group of people were celebrating on the boat next to us, but it didn't impact our enjoyment of the beautiful spot. Doug and Debbie wowwed us with their paddleboard skills!
Dinner tonight was barbequed steak, with cheesy mashed potatoes and a variety of deliclous mezes.
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Day 4: Ottoman Bay - Demre - Uçağiz - Simena
After a leisurely breakfast, we lifted anchor and headed to Demre harbour. Debbie, Doug, and Rob opted for an excursion to Myra and the St. Nicholas Church, Keith and Carol stayed at the boat, kayaking the length of the sandy beach while stalking sea turtles.
Lunch was served after everyone returned to the boat and we headed to Uçağiz, passing over the Sunken City of Kekova on our way to fill the boat's freshwater tanks with water. The heat in the tiny settlement was oppressive, so we left once the tanks were full, heading to the nearby castle village of Simena.
Captain Oktay anchored at the base of the castle and we ventured out to explore the castle before dinner. The views were amazing! We rewarded ourselves for the climb with home made ice cream before returning to the boat for showers and dinner.
There's something magic about sitting in full view of an ancient castle, enjoying barbequed chicken dinner and after-dinner drinks, and good conversation. And that's how we spent the evening.
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Day 5: Simena - Aquarium Bay
Windy conditions were predicted for later in the day, so Captain Oktay headed out of the Kekova region around 8AM. The sea conditions were milder than predicted, but there was still some swell, so breakfast was delayed until we anchored at Aquarium Bay. The small bay features a tiny canyon and beach, plus incredibly clear water for which it is named.
After a few hours enjoying the peaceful bay, we lifted anchor and made our way to the five small rocky outcroppings between Kaş harbour and the Greek Island of Kastellorizo. The scuba schools operating out of Kaş frequent this area because the water is so clear! We will enjoy lunch and an afternoon of sunshine on the border between two countries.